"My daughter wakes up multiple times a night and I have to nurse her back to sleep and nobody else can do it and she has never slept through the night in her life."
"And she's ...?"
"And you think this is perfectly reasonable."
"Well, it's not ideal, no. I'm sort of hoping she'll grow out of it."
"What sort of crazy fool woman are you?"
And then I feel pretty stupid.
The night before last, after a prolonged putting back to sleep that saw me finally get to brush my teeth at midnight, Mabel slept on her own from 12.30 to 4.30. Four hours. I was so excited I spent the rest of the night planning to make a Facebook page called "Mabel slept for four hours on her own" just so I could Like it.
She's not even at the point technically known as sleeping through the night - the five-hours-at-a-time thing that you might reach with a baby who's a few months old, when after giving thanks to the deities and scattering burnt offerings over the ceremonial altar, you get greedy and think, well that's nice, but I'd like it to be five hours when I'm asleep, not just from 7pm to midnight, thank you very much, "technically". I'd LOVE her to sleep from 7 to 12, because then I could go out without rushing back to either a screaming child or a wide awake one, either of which will take a further hour to get to sleep now that I'm here because she's so disgruntled that I had the temerity to leave her.
Her sleeping is more in flux now than ever because we've scrapped the nap, mostly. Tomorrow night we're going to the cinema and a friend is babysitting, and so I'm going to give Mabel a nap so that she can stay up till we get home at ten. (If I put her to bed before we leave, she'll scream when she inevitably wakes up to find me missing. If I let her stay up, she'll be perfectly happy hanging out with one of her favourite grown-ups until we get back.) She definitely needs a nap now, after four napless days, but we're toughing it out, and she'll be fine so long as we don't try to go anywhere she needs to be civilized.
And as soon as I had written that she came to me and said "I know what we can do! We can go and have a nap!" so I took her upstairs and she was out like a light. I'll wake her after 40 minutes and I don't think it'll do too much damage to the master plan. It's one thing not napping a child who could do with one but won't admit it, but I'm not going to deny a nap to a child who actively seeks one out. I may be a crazy fool woman, but I'm not a monster.